“But we’re so close!”
“Yes, but I can’t see straight, and my body is stuck to this couch.”
“Hmmm, I see what you mean. Why don’t we go get a pizza and some ice cream and see if we can push through?”
And so we wandered out into a cold, wet Boston evening, shaken awake by an arctic blast as we wandered to the corner pizza place. Two hours later, a year ago this week, crosseyed from staring at the computer for two long days of final content creation, we popped a tiny bottle of champagne as we launched the website, and voicescienceworks.org was officially born.
Laurel and I had discussed the idea a couple of years before, only a few days after we first met. Since then, we had developed a team-based series of mini-lectures, and a process for rolling them out in a collegiate choral setting such that in very little time (“Ten Minutes a Day, Twice a Week”), we had seen our group of mostly un-trained young singers deepen in their ability to functionally use their voices, and, explain why what they were doing worked.
The other motivation that we felt was that vocology had improved our ability to enjoy singing, and had given us clarity, a goal that before had seemed unachievable in the voice world. Yet, finding information about vocology was incredibly difficult. There were books, sure, we had read some, and courses, which we had attended, but clarity came at the price of ample time commitment and resources. We wanted the world to have other options.
So we took the lectures that we had created and began to turn them into brief, accessible content that even a novice could read in a short sitting. We also set out to help advertise other people’s efforts in vocology, helping to connect the web resources and scholarship that we had found thus far, and that has been developing at a surprising rate over the last year. In the final touch, we started a newsletter so that within the vast amounts of information that was out there, we could highlight small portions each month for people to digest and enjoy.
The mission statement that we drafted recently to describe what VoiceScienceWorks is says that VoiceScienceWorks provides educational opportunities based in contemporary voice science research, creates forums to help empower all voice users to express their vocal aspirations, and demonstrates models for inclusive voice learning. We provide free access to the abundance of new and developing information about the voice, translate contemporary voice research into directly applicable formats, and help vocalists apply this research into sensations directly experienced while vocalizing.
One of my most thrilling experiences this year was assigning individual pages of the website to my collegiate voice students, and watching how quickly they were able to use knowledge that took me years to put into practice.
The last year has been filled with so many opportunities to share, and explore with people around the world what the voice can do. We’ve enjoyed teaching workshops, meeting incredibly generous and driven people who believe that a healthy, functional voice is not only everyone’s right, but also achievable, and watching thousands of people each week access the content that we’ve posted. It’s been a joyful and humbling experience.
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of it, and Happy Year One VoiceScienceWorks!